Eight step checklist: What to do if you crash your car
An expert guide to what UK drivers should do if they crash their car has been released, from safely stopping immediately to phoning the insurance company as soon as possible
Motoring specialists from LeaseCar.uk have revealed an eight step checklist for what Brits should do if they’re involved in a collision while behind the wheel.
Whether the road traffic incident is the driver’s fault, another road users responsibility or a complete accident, all drivers should follow every stage of the guidance – even if they appear unhurt or their vehicle seems undamaged.
Tim Alcock of LeaseCar.uk said: “It’s completely understandable that many drivers instinctive reaction when they’re involved in a crash is one of shock, so we’ve put together an eight step checklist for motorists who have a collision to follow – regardless of where the blame may lie.
“Of course, the main priority should always remain people’s safety and caring for any injuries, before worrying about vehicle damage or financial implications.”
Here is the step by step LeaseCar.uk advice to follow in the event of a crash on the roads:
The first thing drivers must do if they’re involved in a collision on the road, no matter the circumstances, is stop. Remember to turn your engine off and put the hazard warning lights on.
- Check for injuries
Once you’ve come to a halt, check for any injuries to yourself, passengers or other parties involved in the incident – provide first aid if you can, if necessary.
- Ensure safety
Whenever possible, exit the vehicle and move to a safer location if available. Move the vehicle out of the way of oncoming traffic if possible.
- Call the emergency services
The emergency services should be called immediately on 999 immediately if a road is wholly or partially blocked, or if someone is trapped or hurt.
If another driver leaves scene, may be uninsured, drunk or on drugs, or deliberately crashed such as in a ‘crash for cash’ scam, call 999 straight away too. Otherwise, inform the police via 101 as soon as possible if it’s not an emergency.
- Stay calm
It’s important to try to maintain your composure if you’re involved in a crash while behind the wheel – don’t panic and immediately apologise or admit responsibility until the full facts are established, to protect yourself from liability if it’s not your fault.
- Exchange details
Drivers should exchange relevant details with all parties involved, especially if someone is injured or a vehicle is damaged.
This should include insurance information, name and address, contact details, the registered vehicle owner if it’s not the driver.
Remember to get contact information for any passengers and witnesses too, as well as noting down the company if a lorry or commercial vehicle is involved.
If you clip a parked vehicle or damage private property without the owner present, leave your details somewhere appropriately visible.
- Gather evidence
If you have a suitable phone and aren’t hurt, take a comprehensive selection of pictures of the scene and vehicles involved.
Note down details including make, model, colour and number plates, as well as the time and date, the weather and road conditions, including lighting, markings, the state of the surface, and signage.
Describe precisely any damage or injuries reported and try to establish the facts by speaking to other parties and witnesses.
- Phone your insurance company
Even if you think a claim from yourself is unlikely, motorists involved in a collision on the roads should still phone their insurance company as soon as possible to report what’s happened – ideally while they’re still at the scene, if possible – in case someone else later decides to make a claim against you.
Try to have details like your insurance policy number, identification such as your driving licence, and information about the crash to hand – especially if you’re considering a claim yourself.